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The shape of an athlete

Posted Aug 11 2008 9:06pm
Watching the opening ceremonies of the games, I'm seeing all sorts people with all sorts of skin colors and all sorts of skills and all sorts of body shapes.

We see lots of pictures of athletes like Dara Torres, the 41 year old swimmer and mom who has overcome bulimia. Torres' accomplishments are no doubt awesome, and she is no doubt a superb athlete. She could kick my ass any day, that's for sure. But she also is a full time athlete, with 3 coaches, trainers, massage therapists, and cooks. This isn't the kind of training many of us could do, even if we were so inclined.

We see other athletes, whose eating disorder ruined their chances at competing. Allie Outram developed anorexia as a runner in England, whose disorder ruined her health and her chances at Olympic gold.

We see Torres, and Outram, and we wonder: what chance do we have? What do we have to sacrifice? Can we be athletes?

Here are two other athletes:

(from the illustrated BMI photo stream)

Look in the mirror, and you'll find one more. Maybe you'll never win a medal. Maybe you'll never even show any particular talent at what you do. But go out there, and have fun. And you'll be an athlete, just like those in Beijing.
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